New Jersey Devils defenseman P.K. Subban has been fined $15,000 for tripping Anaheim Ducks center Trevor Zegras.

The incident occurred at 3:51 of the first period during Tuesday’s game in Anaheim. No penalty was called on the play.


This is the second tripping fine for Subban in the past eight days. He was hit for $5,000 after a dangerous trip on Calgary’s Milan Lucic that also resulted in a minor penalty.

“That is an undisciplined play that is not acceptable,” Devils head coach Lindy Ruff said after the Lucic trip. “He knows that. Not something we’re going to put up with.”

The NHL has avoided classifying plays like this as a slew-foot, instead opting to suspend for a dangerous trip.  The league has tended to require forceful backward movement from the offender on the victim’s upper body in deeming a play as slew-footing.  From Rule 52:

Slew-footing is the act of a player using his leg or foot to knock or kick an opponent’s feet from under him, or pushes an opponent’s upper body backward with an arm or elbow, and at the same time with a forward motion of his leg, knocks or kicks the opponent’s feet from under him, causing him to fall violently to the ice.

Subban’s fine is the maximum permitted under the CBA for a repeat occurrence.  The league’s maximum fine without a hearing is 50% of one day’s salary, capping out at $5,000.  That maximum increases to $10,000 if the league opts to hold a hearing on the incident.  A subsequent infraction within 12 months bumps that max to $15,000, which is precisely what happened after Subban’s latest offense.

Note that this is different from the ‘repeat offender’ designation which impacts how lost salary is calculated during a player’s suspension.  The NHL’s Department of Player Safety does consider a player’s entire rap sheet when it comes to determining suspension length.

Subban also drew attention for tripping Ryan Reaves of the New York Rangers during a preseason game. He avoided disciplinary action for that incident.

With three similar incidents in just six weeks, it’ll be interesting to watch for the next time Subban upends an opponent.